End of last year, I was reviewing Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU 1.1 Hands Free Bluetooth implementation with my Parrot car kit and the most important AKU 1.1 update was the better Windows Mobile support for address book synchronization with compatible car kits; an appreciated feature update.
But anyway, the AKU 1.1 Bluetooth update lacked some features, other Bluetooth enabled mobile phones supports - like showing the carrier name in the car kit display as well the signal strength and the device's battery status.
While I was surfing through the web, over the weekend, I've stumbled across a Windows Mobile tool called "JETware Hands-free Extension for Windows Mobile" which adds exactly the features I've mentioned above and does even more:
- Read contacts from the Outlook phonebook ("ME" phonebook)
- Read contacts from the SIM ("SM" phonebook)
- Read the list of dialed calls from the call history ("DC" phonebook)
- Read the list of received calls from the call history ("RC" phonebook)
- Read the list of missed calls from the call history ("MC" phonebook)
- Filter contacts from Outlook phonebook based on Outlook contact categories
- Limit number of contacts returned from any phonebook
- Activate Microsoft Voice Command voice dialing over Bluetooth
- Use custom ringtones through your Bluetooth device
- Show battery charge level
- Show signal strength
- Show roaming status
- Display carrier name
- Read message headings from ActiveSync, SMS or other mail provider
- New message notification
- Delete messages
- Read SIM serial number (used to automatically select display language)
- Read GSM phone IMEI number
- Read phone default phone number
- Read current time from phone
- Improved Caller ID
- And more...
Well, that's an impressive feature-set your Windows Mobile device could support, if Microsoft has implemented this features and your car kit is supporting all the features above as well. Please keep in mind, that JETware Hands-free Extension extends the capabilities included in the original Microsoft Bluetooth stack for Windows Mobile 2003 SE and Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PCs and Smartphones only. It isn't supporting third-party Bluetooth stacks like the widely used Broadcomm Bluetooth stack and also not every car kit is supporting all features, as the compatibility chart from JETware indicates.
Nevertheless, I'm still using a Parrot CK3100 and after installation, it upgrades my car kit display from the very basic standard view:
To this view which also includes the networks name (in the middle), the signal strength (on the right) and the battery status (on the left) now:
And indeed, even incoming calls are signalized now using my Smartphone's MP3 ringtone, instead of using Parrot's standard car kit ringtone.
JETware Hands-free Extension supports Windows Mobile 2003 SE and Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PCs and Smartphones anly and is working for a 30-day period free of charge and must be purchased and registered in order to use its full functionality after the evaluation period expired. Even after the evaluation period the Extension will support Parrot CK3x00 hands-free devices with no reduction of functionality. With other hands-free devices, after the evaluation period the Extension will only synchronize 25 phone numbers from Outlook, 10 from SIM memory and 2 from each of the recent calls phonebooks. Some other features might become even unavailable until registered.
JETware Hands-free Extension costs US$ 14.95 and can be purchased via PayPal only - unfortunately.
Nevertheless, it's really a cool tool and clearly shows what the Microsoft Bluetooth stack is able to provide, if all features would be implemented by Microsoft out of the box.
Cheers ~ Arne